CAT Boyd says that we should run away from a second EU referendum in case it sets a precedent for Unionists to call for a second referendum (or multiple referenda) on independence (FM is right not to back a second EUref – it sets a dangerous precedent, August 7). Sorry Cat, I disagree.

We all know the first EUref was a farce. The Leavers told lies. The Remainers kept their mouths shut. Nobody mentioned the Euro-divorce bill. No-one mentioned the Irish border, or the contribution that EU migrants make to our economy. We all know that the UK or Scotland will not find a better free trade area than the EU post-Brexit, and Britain will seek to emulate the USA or China in a race to the bottom on regulatory standards

Post-Brexit our neighbours in Europe could see their economy shrink by up to 20% and Ireland by even more. If you agree with these statements then it is our duty to demand a real referendum.

What about the effect on indyref? It will be our responsibility to comprehensively beat Unionism so that they don’t have the gumption to stand up and have a second go. Britain under Tory or Labour Unionists is a broken country. Its future welfare is our concern. England, Wales and Scotland independent can form a new partnership based on harmony and mutual respect. Already on devolved matters there is much good co-operation between London, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh. It is only on reserved matters that there is potential for conflict or division.

Europe is not as yet a broken union and there could be opportunities to reform the EU structures to help us to work together. To start with, we want to transfer the power of legislative initiative away from the Commission towards the Parliament.We should put a brake on any tendency for the EU to have exclusive competence over any area of governance. Marine biological resources and fishing should be a shared competence between the littoral states. Most areas of governance should be a shared competence between the EU and the member states. Member states with most external migrants should receive financial support in line with the number of migrants.

Let us look to the future with optimism. The dark powers which have given us past conflict can be beaten. Let us start with a referendum on the Labour/Tory Brexit.

George Leslie

I WRITE to express heartfelt agreement with Cat Boyd’s rejection of a second EU referendum. If The SNP takes the official position that Brexit needs a second “people’s” referendum then, no matter or not whether a second EU referendum actually takes place (it probably will not), the Yes movement is stuck with the need to win a confirming second referendum on any independence deal. That will be a catastrophe which will end the Yes movement.

The people are, contrary to many self-professed experts, quite capable (and keen) to address varied and weighty constitutional issues, but they will not be indulged in nonsense. You cannot ask the Scottish people to go through another do-or-die independence referendum on the premise that if this is won, years of fraught constitutional negotiations will take place involving Edinburgh, London, Brussels and (yes) Washington, only for the result to be open to another do-or-die vote. The whole process, naturally, would encourage the Unionist side to take the most negative possible negotiating stance.

As Cat Boyd rightly states, the people supporting EUref2 are precisely the same people who are against referenda. If the SNP is not about people’s power it is about nothing.

If Nicola makes the monumental mistake of backing a second EU referendum it will be the most spectacular Scotland own goal since Willie Donnachie “scored” for Wales in injury time in May 1978.

William Ross

I SHARE Cat Boyd’s concern that a second EU referendum for Scotland is not relevant and could undermine the case for independence. Scotland has already made its view known and voted to stay in the EU by a significant majority. However, I must call her to task for comparing the negotiating position of the EU’s Mr Barnier with any future refusal by the rest of the UK to negotiate a trade deal with Scotland post-independence.

The EU’s position is based upon the principle that to have free trade you must accept free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. The so-called “four pillars”. This is vitally important for a developed democracy, as it ensures that countries with lower social costs cannot cut those costs and out-compete their neighbours. This is totally logical, especially as this low-tax low-benefit economy is exactly what the Tory party espouses and Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg are fighting for.

The greed and selfishness of their position is not shared by most Scottish people, and therefore the most important thing in this debate is to take control over our own future and get the Westminster bigots and zealots off our backs.

Pete Rowberry

IN her latest missive (Letters, August 8), Lovina Roe has evidently become seriously confused between unions. It is clearly not the European one that its constituent parts are forced to abide in against their will – as the UK is proving at the moment, both in regard to the EU and to its Scottish “vassal state”. (Voluntarily quitting the EU will certainly cost the entire UK, all of us included, serious economic and social self-harm, but that is another matter entirely.)

Alas it is not the first time in these columns that Ms Roe has crossed the line between fair comment and “alt-truth”, but in promulgating manifest nonsense like this she insults the intelligence of the readership of this newspaper, and fatally undermines her own credibility in the process.

Robert J Sutherland